Handling the shattered nutcase

I'm not there yet. Still got a ways to go before the World can pass through me without pain.

Julia talked of toes mashed and unreasonable expectations of accommodating thoughtless acquaintances. Tash spoke of awful, awkward silences and evasions within her own family. It broke my heart to read their words. I've experienced shades of each in various circumstances. Facebook is a series of landmines of super-happy-family-ness I can barely handle. Farmer's markets bombard me with babies and moms and dads with kids on shoulders.

There is no way for them to know what it does when they tell me that he's ten months old, and he's keeping her up every night. I look the toddler in the eye and shatter, but you'd never know it by looking at me.

I'm shattered all the time. I don't have to hide it here.

Thankfully, family and friends have been extremely supportive and understanding. I don't feel rushed in my grief. I don't feel like a total nutcase that must be gently handled. They take us face front and let us tell them--as well as we can-- exactly how we feel and what we need.

Often what we need is space and compassion. But not too much space. If I don't get enough attention I start to freak out. Sometimes I feel the disappearing act I'm trying to pull on my grief is working too well.

And not too much compassion, cause seriously, what the fuck? I can handle it, whatever it is. Obviously I can handle anything because otherwise I'd be long gone by now.

Of course, I'm terrified of what else is out there that needs to be Handled, so be careful with me, okay?

Email, instant messages, txts, posts on messages boards, comments to our blogs, they give me strength. They give me a web of words and understanding that transcends time and space.

We Skyped into a birthday party for our friend out in SF. It was mesmerizing to see the faces of our friends that I can usually only hear in my mind as I read their various written missives or enjoy as their disembodied voices over the phone. This was their presence in a powerful, almost magical way.

Through the digital transformations and subtle human cues I was able to pick up that they loved us so much, and missed us a million times over. We toasted beers through the cameras, but the hugs didn't quite connect. Too many square edges on the MacBook.

It was amazing to be with our friends clear across the country, for even a few minutes. And to know how much they wanted us to be well and happy, it was heartfelt and true.

Should I feel lucky for that? There must be a better word. There should be a word for good-feelings-in-the-middle-of-disaster. Because it is that, still, every day in one way or another. The wrenching wrongness of everything we are not doing with Silas is a brutal and confusing burden to bear. We aim for grace, but like Kate said, sometimes fuck grace.

I just want to get by without breaking anything else.

My heart breaks easily. I feel it as a slice from my breastbone to the deep reaches of my gut where everything falls into nothing.

Baby carriage. Pregnant belly. Offhand baby-talk.

Slice, slip, drop.

I attempt to fall through the vacuum of his absence into a calm acceptance of whatever comes next.

The everyday awful, the sliced gut and bottomless stomach, sometimes it makes the good parts feel especially rare and fragile. When I feel happy I'm often doubly amazed. What's the word for that one? The knowing-it's-good-because-you've-had-it-so-bad?

I also know this post doesn't make much sense. But how am I supposed to make sense of the fact that it has been almost a year and... and... everything? All of this. Every word from here to a year before. Every day we've half-lived wondering what the fuck just happened to us?

But I'm not trying to understand why. What I am trying to understand is what his life and death means to me and to Lu, and how I will navigate the rest of my life with his absence in my heart.

So far, this year, all of the World has passed through that hole. There is no other way into me anymore. He is the lens through which my everything is sharpened and transformed.

I wonder if that will ever change. I wonder if there is a way to ever feel whole and true. I wonder if I want to.


Do you?